Posts Tagged With: korea

Beauty Haul: Bio Oil

If you are a human being, like myself, you have one point in time come across stretch marks on your body. Possibly even skin discoloration and other skin pigmentation problems. Ahh, the joys of being human. Well, we all suffer from these problems, so it’s hard not to notice it. And we shouldn’t be too embarrassed because we have all had these kinds of problems. I have some discoloration on my body as well as stretch marks. Even skinny people have stretch marks. It’s normal.

So I was on Makeupalley.com the other day, looking for something to do other than my actual work. I came across a review for Bio-Oil. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it because it reminded me of how at almost every Olive Young in Korea, they are ALWAYS trying to sell this product on people. It’s always near the registers or on a special display in the front. I had never really heard about it so I didn’t pay much attention, except it’s hard not to notice all these Coral-colored displays and bottles everywhere.

But suddenly, I got curious. Why are so many damn people talking about this stupid thing? So I started to do some research and it supposedly contains this amazing ingredient called Purcellin Oil or something that is supposed to alter the signs of aging, help skin discoloration and even get rid of acne scarring as well as other scars. It’s supposed to be a miracle product. However, I think I read somewhere it also contains Mineral Oil, which causes many people to break out. So this is one reason I don’t put this on my face.

 

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I bought it and started putting it on my body. The directions state you should apply this to your skin twice a day for a minimum of three months. Yeah, that’s right. THREE MONTHS. Many products say they produce results in just a couple weeks (usually 4-6), I can understand two or three weeks. That’s about the same time as normal cell turnover. But three months? Hmmm. I guess it’s because that’s a couple cell turnover cycles? Not sure. Anyway, I started last night and will continue with this to see. As of today, a little less than a week into using it, I feel a bit of improvement in the condition of th spots where I’m putting it. They feel softer and they look less… red and ever so slightly less discolored. But that could be my own imagination wanting to see results. So who knows. I also haven’t had any rashes or breakouts as a result of it. I’m grateful for that.

The scent is a bit of a cinnamon scent. I like it. Some people might not and it’s understandable. It smells slightly sweet. Not bad. And it is an oil, so it goes on like an oil. But it’s like a body oil. It isn’t very greasy and absorbs within 5-10 minutes, I would say. Or quicker. So that’s always very good. It works best on fresher scars as opposed to older scars. But it says it can still help those older scars. So we shall see. I will post an update in a couple of months letting you know my progress with this miracle oil. I should take pictures of before and afters but I’m a bit embarrassed. Let’s hope you will just believe me, OK?

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Spring in full bloom with changes

Spring has finally sprung!

I’m not sure about the weather back home, but the weather in Korea is absolutely beautiful these days. Of course, we get a slight chill at 10*C, but I think that is hardly something to complain about. Clear skies, some breezes (some stronger than others) and now the cherry blossoms are blooming around Korea. Quite a lovely site to see. I haven’t gone out to see them because they are everywhere, even on my way to work and around my office. And if I want to go to a special place for cherry blossoms, personally, I like to go with others to experience it.

Many people say, “You speak English! You can go anywhere and meet people!” which is true, I must say. I’m fortunate enough to speak English as a native language and so have a somewhat easier time getting around some places than others. But I personally derive pleasure from not just that moment but being able to recall it later with others whom I was with. A bad situation seems more bearable and more hilarious when you are with someone. Alone is seems so daunting and scary. But together, I can conquer anything. So perhaps during the spring or the summer I will take a long weekend and finally go somewhere like Bangkok, Boracay, Okinawa, somewhere like that. Even Tokyo again. Maybe not China due to the expensive visa required (around $140 from what I’ve read, even for 1 day), but I plan on going somewhere. Just to escape.

As far as an update as to what I’m doing, I haven’t been doing much. I had my birthday a few weeks ago and it went by relatively quietly. My coworkers were very kind and gave me Starbucks gift cards (Koreans love to get coffee together after meals and we always do that for lunch. I’m trying to get a gold card at Starbucks. I’m almost there!) and we went to Outback for lunch together. It was nice. I got some messages here and there from some people but none from some people I was hoping to get them from. But I did get them from unexpected people which made me happier.

So that came and went and I’ve just been chugging along, shopping all the way. If you have been in contact with me frequently lately, you’ll have noticed (it’s hard not to) that I’ve become a bit of a shopping addict these days. I’m always shopping for something, buying
something. It’s a lot of ridiculous stuff, but to me it seems essential at the time. It occupies my thoughts and free time, especially at work. And we always have these grand thoughts that with this product, the heavens will part, I will transform into Giselle Bundchen’s slightly sexier twin sister, men will flock to me in stampedes, I will resume my rightful place on some grand throne, and everything will be perfect. However grand that might be, it never seems to happen. It seems to be a way to cope with something. With boredom, for one. With loneliness, two. With unhappiness in myself, three. It’s a vice for many reasons. Fear not, I don’t spend more than I can afford. I’m not the kind that can’t pay the bills and avoids reality due to this addiction. I do put money away. I do pay off bills and on time. And I am making a concerted effort to make sure to use everything I buy completely so as not to feel that I waste my money. I made the habit in the past to buy stuff but never use it for fear that it would be a waste of money to use it up. It’s a waste of money to never use it. And curiousity will always lurk behind.

And although I am lonely, I need to get used to it. Well, getting used to being independent, is the better term. Stop relying on others for my happiness. Try to find activities that interest me completely and make me feel better. When you come out of the relationship that I was in, you question many things about yourself. Who am I? What do I want? What is my voice? What is my opinion? What did I do before them? What are my real interests? What are my real feelings about things? What are my real imperfections? What did they manufacture out of jealousy and shallowness? Life becomes tainted. Social interactions are different. The words out of my mouth are different. So life now is about change. And taking control back, especially after having lost so much control. I am trying to take back that control, over many aspects of my life.

It’s not just an emotional overhaul, but a physical one too. I am more focused on my looks these days. I am losing weight again. I lost 2 kilos in these past two weeks! I just need to keep up with my meal plan and exercise. I am also focusing a lot on beauty, as you can see by my makeup reviews that I might post on here as a way to stress and also get out my urge to help people. So do excuse those. I’m also going out more and being more sociable, meeting more people. Sometimes I get hurt in trusting people too much, but such is life. I was always this kind of outgoing person. Though now I need to learn when to hold back and stop trusting so many people. But I only have today. I want to live with no regrets. That’s the point of my life right now. After living and worry about if I’d see tomorrow or next year, I’ve learned that regrets are the death of me. I will stop worrying about regrets. We all make mistakes. Even big ones. Just do what makes me happy. Who cares what other people think? Just don’t hurt anyone.

Spring is the perfect time for change.

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Getting help in S. Korea (or abroad in general)

When you prepare to abroad to work or to study, or any other reason, we research many things before we go. We look at visas, accommodations, embassy locations, translation apps, what we need to bring, the list goes on. What nobody seems to prepare you for is the difficulties you’ll experience. Usually when you enter a country, the country first appears strange, but magical. This period lasts for a couple months, depending on the country. But then after a bit, you become weary. The country might not even speak your language and thus you are faced with a language barrier that gets tiring. There can also be a large amount of discrimination. There are these problems and there are also the problems you left at home that you still have to deal with at the same time, just at a distance. It piles up. You do start to go crazy a little bit and sometimes need to vent.

Psychological services are becoming more and more commonplace in Western countries. It is even recommended that all people go at least once in their life to a counselor to talk, just to vent some pent up anger or problems. It is no longer becoming a sign of weakness in our cultures. You are no longer considered crazy, you are thought of as someone who wants to take control of their personal demons and free yourself of guilt, suffering, and worries. You are on the road to becoming a better you. It’s just one step.

However, this concept does not translate in every country of the world and it is important to remember this. In S. Korea, getting therapy is considered a huge weakness and a social no-no. Koreans are very proud people and to admit you need therapy is labeling yourself as crazy and a weak person. This is no good. This is most felt in employment. There is a big discrimination against those who reach out for therapy. 

Foreigners, when completing the Medical self-assement form given to you either prior to coming or when you arrive, it will ask you somewhere about your mental health. Do NOT say you are receiving or have received any treatment. This is grounds for cancellation of your contract. You will be out of a job. While your are working at a school in Korea, do NOT get therapy as it will be reported to your school and your contract will be cancelled and you terminated. There are many cases of this online, just do a simple search. 

Now, this is not limited to just foreigners. I have spoken with my company colleagues (Koreans) and they say they are also under this pressure. They can’t get therapy or they will be terminated or not get a job if applying. 

I hear this and it makes me so angry and sad. While we can be strong, even the strongest need help. I personally believe you shouldn’t be too proud to ask for help. There is nothing wrong with it. It is not a sign of weakness. So, as I have been looking to see whom I could speak to without putting my employment in jeopardy, someone mentioned the site prettypaddedroom.com. They are American therapists licensed in various states and will contact you through Skype on your own time to provide counseling services for you. Their fees start at $45 for 30 minutes but can get as cheap as $50 for an hour depending on how much time you pre-purchase. Since this is an online site, it doesn’t use insurance or anything like that but I feel that the price is reasonable enough not to need it. It is pretty cheap and they all seem very nice. It caters mostly to women but I’m sure men could be assisted as well. 

I recommend those in Korea looking for counseling or therapy services to check this out as an option. It is better than nothing, right? 

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The USPS – My Love/Hate Relationship

I love the post office and everything about mail. When you’re a child, it feels like a magical place where I can present a letter or package to a friend and then it feels like it is sucked through tubes and magically transported to the receiver, whether they are across town or across the world. I always enjoyed receiving mail and waiting for packages to come was much like waiting for Santa to come, except it wasn’t limited to Christmas day. It was any day of the year.

So after moving abroad, you realize even more just how important that post office is. Yes, there is email and messengers. We can communicate faster these days. But to hold a piece of home or food in your hands from home is much more special and more exciting than that email. It’s hard to describe some days but I love it quite a bit. And I’m sure many other understand this feeling.

As I am not Korean sized, I must order my clothes and a bunch of other products from home to here. That’s fine, I have found ways to do this. But a lot of the problems end up being not on the getting from USA to Korea end, but from the US Seller, to the US destination part. 

I ordered something from a retailer and was getting it shipped to my ship forwarding address. (Some things you can’t ship through this service, thus the plea for snacks. I need to figure out what snacks are and are not allowed. Working on it.) However, many of these ship forwarding companies often have multiple US address. Being the blonde that I am, I mixed the two up into a literal half and half combination (Carson, NJ 90746…. It’s a CA city, with a CA zipcode, but different state, and the street name doesn’t exist in that city whatsoever.) I take full responsibility for this stupidity. However, the retailer didn’t check the address and just shipped it off automatically. Didn’t even email me to confirm that the address was correct. Oh geez. So it goes to Carson, CA. I sent a message on the USPS website asking them to send it to the Carson, CA address since it would be a shame to have it shipped back to the store when it is in the right city. USPS states they will respond with a reply within 24 hours. This was the 20th and after I contacted the store, to which they said it was out of their control. This was on a Thursday. I waited…. And waited… No reply. So I emailed again on Sunday or Monday. Repeating the same thing. No reply, so I started calling on a couple times last week. Yes, I called from Korea. I waited each day for 40 minutes on the phone, only to have no one to pick up. I write a complaint stating that it’s ridiculous that I wait 40 minutes with no answer each day and get no reply when I email. Meanwhile, my package has been floating back and forth between surrounding cities during all this. Now it is being sent back to the store. (I’ve emailed them with the correct address to try again. Hopefully, they send it and respond.) 

Then, on Friday, I get an email. It’s from the USPS. Except I wasn’t sure because it said “Ecustomercare National” as the sender so I wasn’t sure. 

Let me show you, word for word, what this email said. Be advised, I’m including the whole message. There was no signature, no formal letterheading, absolutely nothing. It looked like something my mother wrote (my mother is computer illiterate). 

Mail frequently enters the Postal system with an incomplete or incorrect address. At other times, mail is addressed to a physical location that is not an approved delivery point. Although processes exist to improve address quality, Postal employees work diligently to deliver that mail unless the mail piece specifies other delivery instructions. The objective is not to return or dispose of mail unless it is absolutely necessary. The “local knowledge” of our carriers and clerks often helps with a successful delivery.

Of course, the sure way to get our best possible service is for customers to use complete, accurate, and legible addresses. During our automated sort at, the absence of a complete address is sure to hinder delivery of your important mail. Also, mail is often processed in a facility that is distant from the town to which your mail may be addressed. When there is uncertainty about the correct address, we believe it is better to return the mail to its sender, rather than risk delivery to the wrong person.

We know how important your mail is to you, and taking a few minutes to prepare it carefully and correctly makes a lot of sense and will enable us to give you and the addressee much better service.

 

What the hell is this garbage? You have not addressed me, you have not addressed my personal problem, you have sent me a copied list of sentence thrown together in a computer-generated email. 

I was angered and appalled at this. I look at the postal system in Korea here and it is so much more efficient than the US one. I get prompt, friendly service. It’s quick. If I have a problem, it’s fixed. But this is absurd. This would never be allowed here, why is it allowed in one of the most powerful countries in the world? It is shameful! We are willing to take funding away from a sacred and important branch of government, but we aren’t willing to take away funding from useless politicians? This makes no sense. 

The postal system in the US deserves every bit of funding to improve the reputation of this old institution. Korea has allowed the post offices to have banking services (they are full-functioning banks, much like Savings banks), insurance, home shopping, and other ways of creating profit. Why can’t the US do something similar? 

It just makes me sad at how horrible such a beautiful institution has come. I do not blame single postal workers because they are hard working, like my Grandfather. But the system in place is horrible. USPS, please work on this. At least start with customer service. We would be willing to accept stamp price increases if we at least received the service that comes with it. But when we are treated with disrespect or ignored, how can we be anything but outraged? 

I love you, USPS, but I hate what you’ve become. 

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Old men updated with a hero

So I usually don’t post in the middle of the week unless it’s a simple thing because they take a while to type. But the fact that this happened makes it reason enough and I think my friends at home would get a kick.

So we all know how old men like me. Really like. I swear, I know I say I feel like an old lady at heart, but this is ridiculous now.

Anyway, there is a list of ridiculous repeat offenders:

  1. The one Maintenance Man (he’s been better lately…)
  2. Swimming Class/Zara man (there’s a story on why he is Zara man. At a swimming party, he came over to sit with my group and drunkenly kept boasting about how his jersey knit blazer was bought from Zara. He kept trying to take it off but I kept telling him to promptly put it back on. Thankfully he refrained from removing any other pieces of clothing.)
  3. And crazy Dentist/Church man from my apartment.

I’ve talked about some of them in my previous post. Anyway, so last night, I’m on my way home from work and just about home.I suddenly got a text and it was from Zara man. Just, out of the blue. He has called me before, but now texting? Anyway, he was asking me if I was on my way home. I told him I was. He asked me if I was going to swim class last night and of course I do. Then he asked to make sure I was going to the monthly swimming party, especially for drinks. I told him I was. He was so awkward and quickly ceased conversation. He is no problem because if problems exist, I talk to the swimming manager and case is solved. But I don’t want to make things awkward at the swimming class since it’s a closeknit atmosphere. But he isn’t that bad. Just awkward. I always make sure to tell him no for meeting him outside of swimming parties. It’s fine.

But now, let me talk about this guy, the dentist/church guy. So before, he just made simple awkward conversation and held my hand on the escalator. That was as crazy as it gets. Well, he’s gone up in crazy. So I left two minutes later than usual and who do I meet in the elevator? Him. But there are other people in the elevator so nobody says anything other than the two old men talking. We get out of the elevator and leave. I put headphones in and listen to music and I hear a “Hello!” but ignore it. But then I get a tap on the shoulder and it’s crazy dentist guy. I try to be obvious about my not wanting to talk but he doesn’t get clues. He follows me to the subway like before and rides the escalator next to me. I go down a step, he goes down a step too to be next to me. Pisses me off. He tries making conversation like “Oh, what are you listening to?” “K-Pop” “Oh, how nice! And it’s nice you can speak Korean.” I keep trying to dismiss him but he doesn’t get it. So then his conversation goes like this:

Guy: “We should get some tea together sometime.”

Me: “Ehh, if I have time…” (that’s code for  no in any language. Ask any women…)

Guy: “Or how about going on a date?”

Me: “Definitely not.”

Guy: “No? Why not? Do you have a boyfriend?” (I told him last time I did, that it was a Korean one. Any smart single girl knows to say yes to this question, always.)

Me: “Yes, I do. That’s why I can’t.”

Guy: “Hey, it’s okay. Just do it without him knowing.”

Me: “Definitely not.”

Guy: “Are you two lovers?”

Me: “Yes, of course.”

Guy: “Do you two sleep together?”

At this point, I’ve had it.

Me: “Sir, aren’t you saying something inappropriate?”

Guy: “Soowwwy…”

I stop talking to this guy and don’t even bother with him anymore, but he keeps following and taking the escalator next to me. I go to work and tell my coworkers about this. They suggest I tell our Legal dept guy, I’ll call him K.W. (who I also had a date with last Friday but that’s another story…), about this too take care of it. It’s better if a man takes care of it. They say he should act as my boyfriend to the guy. So I tell K.W. and he says he is happy to help and talk to him. He texts me back later with what he said. He said that he told the guy me and him are planning to get married next year and that while he may be an esteemed dentist in the area, if he doesn’t pull his shit together, he will sue him.

Can I tell you how happy I was after hearing that? I just wanted a jealous boyfriend. This was better. I knew I could trust him. And K.W. told me that if anything happened again, to just let him know and he’d help me. I feel much better now. And now I really hope I go on another date with him~~

So I will update after the swimming party this Friday and my movie date with another guy on Sunday… Maybe…

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Valentine’s Day Week!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day all!

This week has been pretty busy but not. It’s been a good week. Actually, it’s been a strange week. My boss announced last Friday that he was quitting Wednesday due to health reasons. His health has been pretty sucky lately so it makes sense. So as a result, we get to eat very well this week. Have a team lunch twice and Valentine’s Day always involves good food. So I will put up some of the food and restaurants we went to.

 

1st restaurant is called Mad for Garlic. I went to the 예술의 전당점, which is by the Performing Arts Center in Nambu Terminal.

Like the name suggests, this restaurant bathes everything in garlic. Quite literally I think. We order an appetizer, a pizza and 3 pasta dishes to share.

ImageThis is called Garlic Snowing Pizza. It has pan-fried & deep fried garlic, pineapple slices, shrimp, and grated parmesan cheese. Yes, you did hear that correctly. Craziness. I took off half of that nonsense and just left the garlic. It was very good.

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This is called Dracula Killer, our appetizer. It’s smaller pieces of a baguette and those are cloves of garlic oven baked in oil with parmesan cheese over it.  So you put the garlic, oil, and cheese inside the baguette (there are slits). Very garlicky but very good.

ImageHere are our three pasta dishes, the Arrabiata, Carbonara, and Garlicpeno. The Garlicpeno is actually very spicy due to the type of peppers they use but it’s all extremely good.

I like going to this restaurant. The food is always very good but it’s all very expensive. This all ended up being over $100 so, just remember that when you go. This was lunch Monday.

 

Let me show you Wednesday’s Lunch. It was Chinese food at a restaurant called Hao Chai. 

ImageThis is the 깐풍기 (Gganpunggi) that we ordered. It’s a kind of Chicken in a spicy lemon sauce. VERY GOOD. I highly recommend it. 

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Here is the Soy Bean Noodles and Spicy Seafood Noodles that we ordered. It was all very good. But I think I’m allergic to those BlackBean Noodles because they gave me a headache and stomachache. But overall, a really good lunch. 

I also got some candy from my coworkers for Valentine’s Day.

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In Korea, on Valentine’s Day, the men get chocolate from girls. The girls get candy on March 14th, White Day. So the fact that I got anything was quite nice. I’m very thankful. I gave out some candy to some people. For Valentine’s Day, I went out for dinner and drinks with a coworker. I figured I would give a single man a date for Valentine’s Day, especially an interesting one with a foreigner. I hope he enjoyed it. I drank him under the table though. Oops. I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself. I hope we get to go out together again and become closer. I had a lot of fun. So I’m looking forward to next month’s White Day or my birthday. 

Enjoy your week all!

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Haul: Clarins Lotus Oil Treatment

So, I’ve been looking for something for oily skin that’s moisturizing and improves skin condition. I don’t want to be dried out or excessively oily but somewhere in the dewy range. Is that even possible? So, I’ve been looking at serums and such to restore my faces condition due to my acne and the scars left behind. One product I did come across was Clarins Lotus Oil. I’ve heard of the benefits of the oil cleansing treatment. I tried it but I kept breaking out. Either my ratios were off, which is entirely likely, or due to a lot of stress, it just couldn’t help. So I might give it a shot in a few months but if my current products are okay, why bother changing it. My skin is improving ever so slowly.

Anyway, the Clarins thing. I had looked up reviews for it and it had gotten a lot of really good reviews. Basically, Clarin’s treatment oil line has three different ones depending on your face type, oily/combination, dry, or normal. So I went for the Lotus one, the oily/combination type. A lot of people’s acne had improved as a result, they said. I’m interested in this claim so I decided to check it out. It costs about $50 in the states. $52 from clarins site or $50 from Sephora. So I looked at ellotte.com, a major department store here, and they were selling it for 55,000won, which is about $52. You can’t beat it. They also say it comes with samples. I like samples. So I bought it. I was a bit reserved about the price but people say you only need a tiny amount and that it could easily last a year. I was skeptical.

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So here is the final product. It is actually pretty big. The glass is not that thick so it is filled with product very well. This is 30ml or 1.0 fl.oz. (Korea uses ml so it’s confusing but I’m learning). And they said it comes with samples.

Image Wow! These guys don’t disappoint! Koreans love samples so if you can, just buy the product with samples. It’s worth it. So now I have lots of wrinkle cream and moisturizers. Many people think people in their 20s don’t need wrinkle creams but it doesn’t hurt to use them. It just helps prevent them from forming for longer so don’t think you don’t need them. That’s why I use Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. I have noticed a different and I feel better so definitely use it if you can.

The reviewers were right when they said you don’t need a lot when you use it. You only need two or three drops, not the whole amount in the tube. And then you rub it into your face. Well, not rub but pat it in, it says but you can rub it in too. It takes about 5 minutes for my skin to absorb it but afterwards, I’m not horribly greasy. I have that refreshed feeling afterwards. That dewy effect. When I wake up, I’m not as greasy as I usually am. I usually sweat in my sleep so I wake up pretty greasy. You will be greasy the first few days, they say, until your face gets used to the oil and then won’t produce as much. Which is usually true since that happened to me when I did the Oil cleansing treatment. So I shall wait. I’m trying to get rid of this dryness and redness on my nose so I hope something works soon. I might try the Mushroom serum from Origins again but that made me bleed last time. But then it went away. Now it’s back. I gotta figure out a way to get rid of it.

So far, I like the oil. It smells very nice and I feel like my skin is more moisturized than just my Clinique moisturizer. I use that in the day but use the oil at night only. It says it’s for night only. So I will see how that goes. I recommend you guys to give it a try too and see how it goes. I will update you in a few weeks on how it’s doing.

 Update: (Apr. 11, 2014 – 2 months later) I still love this oil. My skin doesn’t absorb this as quickly anymore. I guess because my skin is more moisturized? I apply this to my skin about an hour before bed and it is still pretty much on there, though of course a little less. It’s not filmy, just noticabley oily. But, I don’t mind it. It’s a treatment, not a moisturizer. And when I wake up, It has absorbed it all (or it’s on my pill, I’m not sure so I should wash that sucker more often.) But I still like the effects. I would buy this again. I think it has improved the quality of my face enough to become a staple of my long evening ritual.

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Easter in Korea?

As I may have put in my previous post, I’m going to a church every Saturday and Sunday morning with my friend since he needs he support. (I’m still trying to figure out why I even go). I must be clear, I really don’t believe in this stuff much. It just seems so strange. And it’s doubly awkward since it’s all in Korean, so I don’t understand a single word they say. It feels like they’re speaking Chinese or something due to how the language is used. Just like our versions of the Bible are sometimes written in very old English, they do it here as well. Or the translation feels slightly off when I read the translated versions. 

Anyway, so I go Saturday to church and it’s more like a Bible study rather than a service. The pastor is my friend’s friend and is very nice, very passionate, and very sincere. I like him a lot. But I noticed that his speech was on nothing about Easter, even though Easter was the next day. I found this slightly odd as Easter is a pretty big holiday in Christianity. No Stations of the Cross talk, no talk about Pontius Pilate or anything. No Last Supper, nothing. I know it’s Saturday but since some people didn’t attend, I expected SOMETHING about Easter. Nothing. I shrugged it off since maybe it was a bit different in style than regular service. At tomorrow’s service, there will definitely be something about Easter. 

So, Easter sunday happens and my friend and I are late. Rushing to service. We get there and they’ve started singing already, though forcing envelopes for our donations upon us as soon as we enter. So we have three envelopes now that we should be filling with 10% of our salary (oh, hell no.) And so every week we have to put in $10 and call it a day, though last week was $20. I was outraged. I don’t even like church but I have to pay to go. I should at least pay for something entertaining. 

Anyway! Back at church, they go over one or two verses from the Bible. So I expected something about Jesus’ crucifixion or the nonsense but it was a bit different. I’ll give you the quote in case you aren’t schooled in the Bible (It’s okay, you don’t have to be.) 

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

                            Corinthians 18-26

Now, I’m not a religious scholar or anything similar. But I had to reread that passage to figure out what they meant.  And then I was kind of sad. I felt that this wasn’t what Easter was about. The spirit of Easter. Growing up in Catholic church, Easter is a story of rebirth, personal and spiritual, and to come back stronger and more ready to take on the world. It was to be more confident in the faith and such. But to my eyes, the interpretation is one of cutting you down to size and making one realize how much they know nothing of. It’s such a depressing feeling reading this. I mean later, they read the part from the book of Matthew about Mary and Mary Magdeline going to the tomb and stuff, but it just wasn’t the same. You know what bothered me most? The pastor didn’t even wear purple, the color of Easter, of Jesus. No one did but my friend and I (I schooled him). But I was just highly disappointed. They gave eggs and 떡 but that was it. 

There was also the giving of the sacraments (the blood and body of Christ, AKA Bread and Wine time). I couldn’t participate because I’m baptized Catholic and it was a Protestant church. I’m not baptized into that religion so I can’t receive it (I looked it up just in case and it’s true. Vatican says not to do it). So some of the leaders and my friend were very curious and making comments about it. They told me how I should be able to by Christmas but I don’t see how since I’m not going to get baptized into their church. One day they will learn. 

So all in all, I’m very disappointed with this church. It feels like a business rather than a church. This is not even including this old woman at my church who keeps trying to sell me $500 in vitamins so I can look as young and be as healthy as her. She keeps attacking me while I’m alone, it’s very annoying. I really feel like this church is slightly disorganized or money-hungry, just like most churches. There is also a verse in the Bible that says people should pray in private, which I believe whole heartedly. Here, for you fine peeps, I will quote you just in case you doubters doubted. And I will put it in the King James Version because the old school is always best. 

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 

       Matthew 6:6

Fanciful, right? Anyway, it’s true. This is what church looks like to me. I only wish people stopped picking and choosing things from the Bible and followed it if that’s what they believe. This goes for all religions. 

Perhaps I’m a bit old-fashioned but this kind of church is just not my cup of tea. Regardless of how nice they are. I just hope for the best of the people who attend and believe sincerely. They deserve it. I’m content with just being me, though.

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Reflections of my New Year’s Resolutions

Happy very belated New Year everyone! 

Yes, it’s been forever since I’ve updated this blog. And it’s for reasons which I don’t feel like going into. It hasn’t been the best year and it still isn’t but I gotta do what I gotta do. I will try to keep up with this blog to make myself feel better, as a way of release, but it depends on the amount of time and energy I have.

Anyway, as one has seen all of last year, I had my New Year’s resolutions listed on the side as a way to remind myself of what I hoped to achieve this year. Well, I believe it’s time to do a sort of progress report on that. 

  1. Lose some weight before I go home in April – Ehh… I don’t know how well that happened but I’ve been losing weight since I left home in April. Does that count? I haven’t lost too much weight but I have lost a good amount of weight since coming to Korea and still have much to go. To make a bench mark, I’ll be very honest. When I came to Korea, I feared being very near the 300lb mark. I was probably somewhere below that but not by much. I’m now at 230. So I still have much to go but I’m doing okay.
  2. Study Korean harder and pass that damn test – I have been studying Korean and in October or November, I took the test and got a level 3. Congrats to me for finally passing the test! However, the highest level is a 6. So now, I’m shooting for a 5. I just need to study more vocabulary and grammar. I hope to get at least a level 5 by years end.
  3. Try to make one outfit when I go home in April – Psh…. Yeah, nice try. Next.
  4. Try to be a lot happier. – Fail.
  5.  Save money but buy the things I want to better myself – Eh, I didn’t get to save much money so now I gotta start saving money again.
  6. Be cleaner/more organized – I’m kinda more cleaner and organized but not by much. Semi-success?
  7. Finish at least 2 books this year – Fail. I hate books. What was I thinking? Maybe next time…

So this year, I have decided to make another list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2013. They are: 

  1. Get at least a level 5 on the TOPIK by the end of the year
  2. Become better at German so I can be able to read the German news papers online.
  3. Lose more weight and get down to a size 12 at least by July. (I’m currently at a size 18. Huzzah!)
  4. Be happier (Always have to try)
  5. Get that new cell phone I’ve been meaning to get.
  6. Finally get organized and good at my job. Be better at being a Supervisor and taking on responsibility.
  7. Be more timely with responding to text messages/emails/sending out birthday messages/etc. I’m HORRIBLE at this and everyone knows this. I apologize deeply. I hope that by accomplishing no. 5 on the list, no. 7 will become easier.

If anyone has any suggestions to this list, I’m all ears. Look forward to some new posts in the new future, especially an updated version of the Malltail tutorial. It’s so damn hard to keep up with those people since they keep updating their formatting and site layout. Damn them!

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Being a Picky Eater in S. Korea

Well, I know it has been a while since I’ve updated. I have much to update about but I have an issue on my mind that I just feel like discussing.

I am fat. I know I am. I’ve come to accept it. It’s no longer baby fat. It’s not going to be grown out of.

And with being fat comes issues with food. I hate food. I really hate food. Think about it~ Drug addicts don’t need drugs to survive. They think they do at the moment. But nobody really does. Same goes for alcoholics. We don’t need alcohol to live until 75 (though there are studies that say a glass of wine is good for the heart, but that’s not what I mean here). But food… Food you need to live or you die. Food is such a vital role in our survival. And yet, those with eating disorders, whether they are skinny or fat, have the hardest addiction to kick because it stares at us in the face multiple times a day and without it, we die. There is no avoiding it or you are dead. But with too much, you die as well.  It’s a battle that seems like you can’t win. My heart goes out to these people.

Like I said before, I have issues with food. I hate it. I despise it. If I had the strength, I wish I could be anorexic sometimes but I can’t. My will to survive is too strong. Why do I hate it so much? I’m a picky eater. Now, picky eaters have this horrible image. Yes, we don’t eat a lot of food. We are content with certain flavors, especially some bland stuff, and eating it over and over again. There is nothing wrong with that to me. So I get the comments, “You just haven’t tried it enough. Try it again.” “You shouldn’t be so closed-minded.”, “You are restricting yourself.” and it’s met with a lot of annoyance. Understandable annoyance. We really do understand. But if a smell offends you, do you eat it? Like scorpion or some fish? Many people just don’t eat it. And it’s okay for them. But because we hate so many things, many think we are just stubborn. But if you ask many picky eaters why they don’t eat something, it’s because of the taste or the smell that offends them. And even the texture. And so we gag it back up. It doesn’t even go down our throats. It just comes right back up. For example, I don’t like steak because it’s too thick for me. It’s too hard to swallow for me. And usually, we have a pattern of things we don’t like. Such as all or most fish (like me), or certain greens, certain sauces, etc etc.

I wish I could let people know that we aren’t crazy. It feels like a real disorder, a real disease, but nobody takes us seriously. It drives me so crazy that for this reason, I wish I were anorexic. So people could see my distaste for eating because it becomes such an issue for those around me. This was a problem I had in the US and it wasn’t too bad due to the large variety of food there. It got easier to deal with and too many people weren’t uncomfortable.

Now, in Korea, this problem is exasperated. Foreign food is limited compared to the US and most foreign food is labeled as unhealthy so many don’t want to eat it. And much of the food I don’t eat is apart of Korean cuisine (for example, I dislike soups and stews, which is a HUGE part of Korean cooking. I just really hate boiled food). So I am constantly faced with this food that I generally hate at home. I could avoid it so easily at home. But now it’s so difficult because everything is like this. So this problem just amplifies itself here. So I give the foreign population a bad image but it’s really mostly my horrible eating pattern. It drives others crazy and it gets us into arguments over what to eat. And sometimes, to avoid this, I say I have an allergy just to avoid the hassle. But there isn’t much I can do. This huge dilemma causes me to get really depressed and angry. At myself mostly. I have tried repeatedly to open myself up to Korean food. I’ve done pretty well so far. But I’m just having such a hard time. It makes me want to go home. It makes me want to do a lot of irrational and crazy things. But I can’t. I must get through it. Somehow.

But I want people to know that this is real disorder. We aren’t crazy or just being annoying. My friend once found a preliminary research study on picky eating and they are trying to make it a real eating disorder. One recognized by doctors everywhere. But it will be a long way before this happens. Here is an article talking about this. I want others to know that you are not alone. There are others.  We can get through it together.

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